eSpec Books interviews Ty Johnston, contributor to The Awakened Modern, edited by Hal Greenberg and Greg Schauer, currently funding on Kickstarter.
eSB: Can you tell us a little about your story, Cold Snap, from The Awakened Modern?
TJ: An old cop and a young cop team up to face a brave, new and deadly world of criminals with super powers. That’s the basics of Cold Snap, and it sounds like something out of a comic book, but I wanted to go deeper than that, to become more personal. How would law enforcement handle such situations? How would an older person, here a detective, find himself in such a world? I wanted Cold Snap to be real, down to earth, not exactly gritty, but to focus on everyday people dealing with new, unusual situations. I hope I’ve succeeded and readers will find something to enjoy.
eSB: What do you like most about The Awakened series, and why?
TJ: The mundane character who discovers they are actually something special, or that they have unique abilities, is a common enough trope in the fantasy genre, but in The Awakened series this has expanded beyond the simple individual to a larger scale. Practically anyone can become an Awakened. Practically anyone can find out, literally overnight, that they have special powers, and that their future, their destiny, will be changed forever. This is one of the big draws to me for this series. It opens up possibilities, as a writer, and as a reader it keeps me guessing.
eSB: What kind of challenges did you find writing for this series?
TJ: When working on short stories, I tend to focus upon smaller events and, in a certain manner of thinking, smaller people. I stay away from the big sweeping stories and the larger-than-life characters, the royal figures, the movers and shakers. That stuff is for novels where there is room to expound. So, one of my challenges with The Awakened series was to take these potentially powerful characters and keep them in settings and situations that would not stretch too far beyond rather small environs. At first I found this daunting, but then when I realized the potentials, the rest came relatively easy.
eSB: Do you have any plans to expand your story…or write in the same universe? If so, what more can your readers expect?
TJ: With The Awakened series, I prefer each of my stories to stand on its own. This way, I get to explore different facets of the world, the different emotional parameters my characters find themselves in. So, each of my stories should be a different experience for the readers.
eSB: If you could have a special power or familiar, what would it be and why?
TJ: Hmm, some sort of time travel would probably be my preference. That way I could explore the ancient world, re-discover things we have lost or forgotten, see events, and maybe meet a few people from the past. I likely wouldn’t be as interested in meeting the famous — no Caesars or Khans or religious figures for me — but there are a handful of writers with whom I wouldn’t mind having a chat.
Originally from Kentucky, Ty Johnston is a former newspaper journalist of 20 years who now spends his days writing fiction in North Carolina along with memories of his loving wife. When not writing or reading, he enjoys longswording, tabletop role-playing games, and hiking. He is the author of several fantasy series, including The Kobalos Trilogy, The Sword of Bayne Trilogy, and The Walking Gods Trilogy.
SOCIAL MEDIA USER IDs
Facebook – www.facebook.com/htjohnston
Twitter – twitter.com/htjohnston
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Blog Address – tyjohnston.blogspot.com
Tumblr – tyjohnston.tumblr.com/